Hi Everyone I find that my investment strategy has been quite the failure and am probably in some psychologically traumatized mode of thinking now with regards to investing. I was hoping somebody could relate their experience of a similar time and shed light on the way forward. But first our situation. I have bought and sold a couple of properties since 2004, renovated and rented and made some money and lost some more. 1) Finally, we purchased in both names, a ppor property in Perth that we purchased for $740,000 and then we renovated it ourselves with blood sweat and tears, buying stuff for the reno off of gumtree or occasionally using tradies who at the time only wanted cash and no paperwork. All up there is probably $100k renovation for which there are no receipts. 2) We bought the house with a $550k mortgage and began paying it down at 7.5% interest rate which declined, then I stupidly fixed interest at 5.79 and it went much lower, finally got out of it paying break costs and refinanced. 3) Once it was all renovated and done after 2 years of living in it, we lost our jobs in the Perth downturn moved out of the country and became ex-pats and began paying rent to others which cost a fortune. 4)This rent we paid to others I feel we should add to the cost of our mortgage, because we were paying rent to somebody, plus we were paying the bank interest. A double whammy. 5) We rented the property out for 6 years and in June 2019 kicked the tenant out so that we did not exceed the 6-year rule. For the entire 5-6 years, we have been renting ourselves abroad and now, here in NSW as we chased employment. The property is vacant while I figure out what to do next. 6) When I calculate how much money I have paid in property manager fees, stamp duty, bank fees and costs, refinancing, repairs, renovations and interest paid, plus rent I paid elsewhere and subtract this from tax refunds and rent received, when I was subsidising tenants to live there, the actual cost has been about $1,100,000. That's how much money I spent not living in it. If I don't include the rent that I paid to somebody else then perhaps it cost me about $1,050,000. 7) My real estate agent in Perth reckons he could get me maybe $930,000 for it now as Perth has dramatically improved and people are buying. (4 months ago he said $810,000) 8) The mortgage remaining on the property is $95,000 ($265,000 original loan amount with savings of about $165,000 in the offset account) and we are paying a 3.12% interest rate. Our combined takehome pay after tax is about $13,000. 9) We have 3 children under 10 and are relocating in January 2020 to a regional location to be determined soon in northern NSW. My wife is sick of renting as am I but generally see that renting may be a good idea still. My wife is currently on $100k pus super while I am on $135k plus super. If we relocate she loses her job and has to find a new one. (very difficult to find a job for my wife in a regional location as a very specialised job, she might just take anything, look after kids or study ). If only I work my take-home pay after tax is about $7600 a month. 10) We have $80k and $70k in superannuation. in the cash option since the beginning of the year in 2019, as we lost our entire super in the 2008 crash and things look too similar. I am 44 my wife is 38. 11) If we sell the Perth house now we would not pay capital gains tax as it is vacant after 6 years as a ppor from which we had to move out of to seek employment. So equity would be: $930,000 sale price, minus agents fees $17,000, minus outstanding mortgage $95,000, leaving us with $818,000 equity. But this would be a loss of $282,000. 13) I dont think holding it vacant is a good idea for another year in the hope that prices in Perth increase, besides would they increase by more than the rent increases? 14) If I rent it out again, I have to pay capital gains tax since 2013, after all costs and the hassles of managing a property in another state it was only returning $1200 a month after all costs and its positive cash flow now that is no longer so appealing from a tax perspective to get tax deductions. 15) My mate said it is possible to buy another house elsewhere and shift the debt onto the house in Perth and rent it out again and forego the capital gains tax lost, just pay it. 16) My mortgage broker can give us a loan for $1,040,000 at 2.79% and use the equity in the Perth property for a deposit, so we can keep the Perth property vacant and not rented out. Then we can buy a property elsewhere. 17) But part of me wants to make up for the lost decade and loss of 2008 superannuation plus future-proofing my retirement by waiting for the next crash and then putting all our money into a vanguard index stock instead, by selling everything and continuing to rent. The problem is I feel traumatized by the pain of holding the Perth property paying interest and never having money plus all the troublesome tenants and property managers and am paralyzed by what to do next. We are 5 people living in a rental that is a small cramped cold dump with no wardrobes and cupboards in order to live close to work and smash the mortgage and get out of trouble. Part of me just wants to sell the property in Perth and pay cash for the next ppor in the regional location but then depending how much we pay we might not have anything to put into stocks. If we buy a $600,000 property it is a dump again and not as liquid as the property closer to the beach and office but which costs $900,000. Do I just go and buy 3 reasonably cheap investment properties on the gold coast with land value but which are just sufficiently negatively geared to deduct the sweet spot of tax? Total decision paralysis and its taking my joy from me. Does anybody know of the absolute BOSS of financial planning anywhere in Sydney, Central Coast or Hunter region where I could go for advice before I make any moves? My kids have to start in a new school in the regional location in January 2020 so the clock is ticking, but my wife could stay behind and work for a month or 2 and fly back for weekends, to pay for the relocation and keep options open on new loan mortgage amount until we buy something. Banks will lend less if we cant show payslips for 6 months for both of us. This situation really is difficult for me to analyse as my emotions are raw from the difficulties of the last decade and a bit trying to keep head above water.